I think I’m writing this for you, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit for myself. You’re growing up so fast, and I’ve already told you what you need to know on a lot of this. Your heritage, my family, why my family no longer speaks to us, and of course, my time as Steel Maiden. But I’ve glossed over a lot of things. A lot.
However, that video is resurfacing on youtube, and you have to understand; it’s all a lie. Whatever people want you to believe, you need to trust me on this. I knew him, and Sollus was better then that. I had hoped to tell you all of this when you were older, but that may not be possible. I’m trying to protect you from my past, but just in case I can’t do that, and I’m not there to tell you, well, at least you’ll have this.
There were bits I never told you. The bits that happened behind the scenes, the instability after the Jupiter League fell, the rise of the supermen (and women), and of course, your father.
But to understand all of that we have to start a little earlier…
I won’t cover Avalla too much, except to say that it is neither the puritanical island convent of Arthurian Legend, nor the glorious barbarian afterlife of Norse mythology. They both got parts right, and they both gloss over the rest and fill it with their own misogynistic religious bias, making the perfect woman either a humble symbol of purity, or a busty bar wench in Valhalla’s the Great Hall. And don’t even get me started on the Greek interpretation.
It wasn’t a bad home mind you, but some of us weren’t always comfortable with the arrangement. Due to The Divide we could observe the World of Men, but were forbidden from interfering with their affairs; I’m not sure how it was done, I think a magical girl was involved.
Men were only brought to the city if they were great warriors. They would be dragged off battlefields before they could die and brought to Avalla for certain purposes, (which I will explain to you when you’re old enough for that conversation). But aside from that, the World of Men was ‘look but don’t touch’ only. Well, I wanted to touch, and that’s where Sollus came in.
--Charisma /Superior: Gift of the Goddess I
Here’s what your generation will never understand; feathery hair and lip-syncing does not make someone a sex symbol. No, a real man is raw power, confidence, courage, and Sollus, oh Goddess, there is no comparison that I could make that would do him justice. He was a God among boys, he was like Jagger and Beowulf in one. He was the kind of warrior that would make your knees wobble and your, well, I had to meet him.
As you’ve probably noticed by now we all have a sort of ‘effect’ on men that makes them slightly more pliable. (Speaking of, you are FORBIDDEN to use this on your classmates. I raised you better then that). Unfortunately, I hadn’t exactly been raised quite as well. I offered him the chance to join us as the greatest warrior mankind had to offer, and promised that I would ‘personally’ accompany him upon the Far-Shore. It was a schoolgirl’s crush on her idol, he knew that, and I’ll always be grateful for the decency he showed.
Though, at the time I was pretty pissed off, and if it wasn’t for Magic Mike’s banishment spell I probably would have demolished the rest of Newcastle.
--Endurance/Supreme: Gift of the Goddess II
I spent some time in Avalla licking my wounds, but I couldn’t stay away for long. I thought if I could just get him to notice me it would all change. With a little apology I became their envoy to Avalla, and when that didn’t work, I tried dating his best friend. Some childish part of me figured a little jealousy would somehow make a God get down on one knee and propose. I was young and stupid; don’t follow my example.
Still, the Stormriders were good fun for the time being, and we had a nice balance; I was the token blue-eyed blonde who could take the Chicago L-train to the face and stop it on a dime.
And Wally was a fine guy. Witty, resilient, and had enough internal resolve to put up with silver-tipped bullets in his gut, while still dealing with my drama and bullshit. But in the end I was still too young. Not jailbait I mean, but naïve. Wally wasn’t. Beneath the bravado and charm there was doubt and a sadness that would never leave, only grow. We both knew it couldn’t work, so when the time came, I just, moved on.
--Strength/Ultimate: Gift of the Goddess III
Then there was Beacon; that man was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. People said that he was a necessary evil, the league’s dark side. He was an absolutely amazing vigilante, and an absolutely monstrous human being. And there I was next to him, backing up every monstrosity with a smile. I can’t defend or explain it really. It was the early Nineties, and I had a bad boy phase.
But there’s a difference between bad boys and sociopaths. For a while I just wrote off his sadism as the price of warfare, that sometimes people suffer in the glory of battle. But he wasn’t content with just persecuting the criminals; he had to make everyone close to him weak in order to feel power. With me it wasn’t anything physical, he couldn’t do anything to me that way and he knew it, but he didn’t have to. He knew what to do instead.
I don’t think I can share all of it with you, but you need to know, if anyone makes you feel worthless, they are wrong. You are my daughter, I love you, and no one has the right to treat you that way.
--Flight/Superior: Gift of the Goddess IV
I never found the courage to leave on my own, I was called back home before that happened. I think it might have saved my life.
There were rising doubts in Avalla about the League’s trustworthiness in the World of Men, and after Beacon started the shootout with the NYPD, I don’t blame them, but I still tried to convince them to let me stay. They were not persuaded.
And so I left, soaring above their cities, across our shared ocean, over the bleak of The Divide, to land on the sands of the Far-Shore. For the first time in years, I was home. There was something of a spectacle for a time; I was the woman who had left for their world, fought amongst their greatest heroes, and returned to tell the tales. Even as I resettled into our isolation, I’d still occasionally look beyond the fog and across The Divide, just to see if their world was safe, if they might need me. But the League kept them the safe.
Then those bastards killed him, and I flew back across The Divide as the righteous battleaxe of vengeance upon mortals who would dare kill a God.
-Weapons Master/Ultimate: Gift of the Goddess V
The thing to remember is that Excalibur was basically a letter opener. Sure, it was a nice letter opener, but it was basically a cheese knife someone slipped into Uther’s gift basket.
Now me, I always preferred axes. You get more heft on the blade then with a greatsword, and the force is focused on the point. Some people might try to steer you towards hammers, which have their advantages, but you don’t want some little punk knifing you in the gut on your upswing, do you?
I took ‘Sweet Gwendolyn’ from the armory; now there was the perfect weapon for vengeance, and I was in a dire need of her talents. I knew Sollus couldn’t just die. Gods don’t just die. One of those lesser men dragged him down, and I swore to find out who.
Interfering with men once more would guarantee that I could never return home, but I wasn’t sure I would survive let alone return. They called it the Rise of the Supermen; vampires, undead spiritual conduits, and an honest to Goddess living suit of armor. It is also where I met your father…"